Food in Little Tokyo
I have family visiting in the next couple of weeks. I would love to take them to Little Tokyo, since my cousin who will joining us, had her honeymoon in Japan last year (about the same time). I know it's not going to be the same, but they haven't been there, so it's worth the try.
The whole family is an adventurous group of eaters. I would love to find a couple of different places to take them, say a lunch and dinner place. Obliviously, since I am paying, I would love to find bargains. But if an establishment is expensive but has good food, I think it is worth a try.
The food doesn't have to be Japaneses. If it is good and in the area, I would love to hear about it.
There's been plenty of talk on these boards about places like Izayoi, Sushi Gen and Kokekokko, but I'll tell you about places I frequent.
Daikokuya Ramen - a small spot, so it may be tough if you have a large group, but the ramen is damn good. I like pairing it with the fried rice and maybe a beer or two for a very filling meal at about $15 incl t/t.
Cuba Central - They've raised prices a little bit since I first started going there, but the plaintains, rice and black beans and meat combos are still worth the $11 or so you'll pay. I prefer the pork dishes, but they've also got oxtail, beef, chicken, potato balls, empanadas, etc etc.
My favorite sushi place is Hamakawa.
The last time I was down there, I went to Sohoju, the hipster Korean joint right in the middle of the Japanese Village Plaza. The food won't really make you want to abandon any of your K-town favorites, especially at their prices, but it was decent. It's more of a swank joint for the nouveau yuppies with fat bank accounts populating the half million-dollar condos and lofts Downtown to hang out, pay too much to drink soju and sake, and have some short ribs with dates and bibimbop to nibble on while they chat. It's got a nice relaxed vibe in a clean, open space.
The Shabu Shabu House is a must-visit if you've never gone. Sure, there are other fancier places for shabu shabu, but nothing beats the ol' dive. And get a curry doughnut and green tea steamed cake at Yamazaki!
Here's a few more ideas...
Sushi: R23 - http://www.r23.com/ Wonderful sushi, maybe the best in LA.
Ramen: Daikokuya - http://www.daikoku-ten.com/ I hope your family likes long simmered, rich pork broth.
Yakatori: Yakitori Koshiji - in Weller Court, grilled stuff on a stick, lots of fun to eat.
Dessert: Frances Bakery - Honda Plaza, A Japanese take on French pastries...fantastic.